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Nicolas Lodeiro fined for simulation in Crew game

Incident was reviewed for possible red card on the field, but Lodeiro was only given a yellow.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Nicolás Lodeiro has been fined for embellishment/simulation that occurred during the 81st minute of Saturday’s game. The incident was reviewed on the field by referee Chris Penso for a potential red card infraction — Lodeiro shoved Artur a couple times — but ultimately decided that a yellow card was sufficient. Harrison Afful was also shown a yellow card, presumably for shoving Román Torres in the incident.

Although the MLS Disciplinary Committee did not elaborate on the reasons for fining Lodeiro and not Afful — who seems to have also made the most of minimal contact — the difference may have been that Lodeiro grabbed his face. If Lodeiro had been hit in the face, that would have likely resulted in a red card.

The whole incident was a bit of a mess, though, and the Crew were hardly innocent bystanders. About a minute earlier, the Sounders had a free kick in their offensive third. Victor Rodriguez tweaked his hamstring chasing down Lodeiro’s pass and immediately called for a sub.

Rather than playing the ball out, the Crew continued to attack. By the time they reached midfield, several Sounders were asking for the ball to be played out. Apparently at the urging of coach Caleb Porter, they opted to keep attacking. Their possession ultimately ended on a shot that went over the crossbar.

That’s when Lodeiro and Artur began arguing, with Lodeiro clearly taking the more aggressive posture. Eventually, virtually everyone on the field joins the fracas.

In the end, a yellow card and a fine is probably appropriate. But let’s not ignore that Porter’s desperation is what created this mess ... and his team ultimately got exactly the number of points it deserved.

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